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      R Released Apr 29, 2016 1 hr. 40 min. Drama LGBTQ+ TRAILER for Viva: Trailer 1 List
      80% 56 Reviews Tomatometer 85% 500+ Ratings Audience Score A young hairdresser (Héctor Medina) clashes with his estranged father (Jorge Perugorría) when his dream of performing in drag comes true. Read More Read Less Watch on Peacock Stream Now

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      Watch Viva with a subscription on Hulu, Prime Video, rent on Fandango at Home, Apple TV, or buy on Fandango at Home, Apple TV.


      What to Know

      Critics Consensus

      Viva flirts with melodrama, but ultimately rises on the strength of strong performances and a thoroughly relatable message.

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      Audience Reviews

      View All (24) audience reviews
      Audience Member VIVA, artistically directed by Paddy Breathnach, is a deeply moving dramatic film of a young gay man coming to terms with an abusive father and who is trying to make a life for himself in a macho, homophobic society. It is beautifully acted with incredibly moving performances by all the leads and supporting actors. VIVA is a story of a young man who finds his dreams of becoming a drag queen performer dashed when circumstances work against him. Hector Medina who plays Jesus gives a gut wrenching and an exquisite performance of a decent, vulnerable androgynous looking young man who is barely eking out an existence working as a hairdresser in the city of Havana, Cuba. While doing Nita's hair (played by Paula Ali), we learn some of his back story. He is on his own. There's an absent father and both his mother and grandmother have died. When one of the drag queens who performs at the Palermo Cabaret, runs off with Mama's wigs, Jesus grabs at the opportunity to audition for the vacancy left by Celeste. Mama is wonderfully acted by Luis Alberto Garcia who gives a stellar performance of the sincere middle-aged drag queen with a heart of gold. Although he shows promise, Jesus as Viva has a lot to learn and not holding back on his performances. Just when things are looking up for Jesus, he is brutally re-introduced to his father during one of his drag queen performances. Jesus's dreams of becoming a drag queen are dashed when his father forbids him to perform and Mama decides too that she can't risk it either because she is worried of the trouble Jesus's father would make for the club. Jorge Perugorria who plays Angel Gutierrez, Jesus's father, gives an excellent performance of the bitter delusional angry macho alcoholic father who imposes himself on his son and usurps his life. Jesus begrudgingly puts up with his father's presence, his violent and obnoxious behaviour, and tries to be a good son. He cuts his father's hair, cooks for him and accompanies him to the boxing club. Frustrated at his situation, Jesus lies to Mama about his father having had a change of heart and he is allowed to perform again in the club one day a week. But still without a steady source of income and living hand to mouth and taking on the responsibility of caring for his father, Jesus reluctantly turns to tricking to earn money to support themselves. Jesus confides in Mama and tells him that he is selling himself. In one of the many dramatic moments in the film, Mama confronts Angel at Jesus's apartment and offers Jesus a way out. But, Jesus stays with his father who later reveals to his son that he is dying. A highlight of the film is watching the relationship between Jesus and his father unfold as they learn despite their differences to love each other. I love melodramas and VIVA hits all the high notes of a melodrama and reminds me of the Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s especially the films of master filmmaker Douglas Sirk. The narrative is gripping and the dramatic tension doesn't let up culminating in an incredible drag queen performance of Jesus as Viva with his father in the audience. I was also moved by the compassion and camaraderie of the drag queens, their bantering and wit. I would like to single out Mark O'Halloran for his brilliant and deeply moving script. I also particularly liked the cut aways of Havana, Cuba which situated the story in a cultural context and gave the film depth and character. VIVA is a beautifully acted film that merits your attention. It is essentially a film that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit and the desire to be true to oneself. Do see it for you won't be disappointed. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Lejos de los clichés con los que se excede el melodrama, el filme te adentra a las emociones y razones principales que llevan a Viva a tratar de gritarlas mediante una excelente actuación. Mucha emoción que gira entorno a un tema familiar que siempre está presente en cada uno de nosotros, a pesar de esto es una excelente película para disfrutar. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member Over and above a melodrama rehearsing the tribulations of an aspiring drag club performer looking for deliverance in cross-dressing and the ballads he lip-syncs, this Spanish-language Irish submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards is a pensive explication of hegemonic masculinity in poverty-stricken slums. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member I really enjoyed this movie and Hector Medina was truly a standout among a great cast and solid performances. I would recommend this movie to anyone, I laughed, I cried and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member It's not a classic transgender film, in my opinion. It shows the difficult relationships that should face in most cases the gay person or drag queen, transvestite or transgender woman. The performances are solid, the rhythm is constant, and being set in Cuba gives a special touch especially with music. Although it can be said that it touches many cliches not of the cinema but of the lives of the boys who get involved in pretty women, the way of wearing it is not at all condecendant or simplistic, it shows us different facets of the characters which by the way are well built. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Audience Member I love this movie. It's great. It tells you how everybody struggles to be oneself. Also, it is sad to see how when you are young, you are full of hopes and dreams but as you get older you realize that nothing that you dreamt about is going to become true. The saddest part is how lonely people accepts abuse just because they don't want to be alone, especially when you are an orphan. This movie tells the story of many of us in many ways. You don't need to be a drag queen or a gay man to watch it. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (56) Critics Reviews
      Donald Clarke Irish Times Viva is less boy-meets-boy than boy-meets-himself. Rated: 4/5 Aug 20, 2016 Full Review Sara Michelle Fetters A story of self, gender, identity and family, Viva is an absolute gem worthy of raucous celebration. Rated: 3.5/4 Aug 9, 2016 Full Review Steve Davis Austin Chronicle Even as the film's melodrama starts to lay on as thick as a La Lupe ballad, Medina's sensitive and luminous performance as a tarnished Latin angel who learns to spread his wings remains center stage, and rightly so. This young actor is good. Rated: 3/5 Jun 16, 2016 Full Review Savina Petkova A Good Movie To Watch Shrooms director Paddy Breathnach has als dipped his toes in romcoms and thrillers, but this queer Bogota-set drama has a lot of tenderness in its heart. Rated: 77 Nov 25, 2023 Full Review Ben Turner The Pink Lens If you go into Viva expecting glitz, glamour and sass, this will clearly not be the film you're expecting. Rated: 3/5 Sep 2, 2021 Full Review David Bax Battleship Pretension Viva asks questions about whether people unite through bloodlines or out of necessity or for their own best interests and then it cheats on the answer. Jan 6, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A young hairdresser (Héctor Medina) clashes with his estranged father (Jorge Perugorría) when his dream of performing in drag comes true.
      Paddy Breathnach
      Executive Producer
      Benicio del Toro
      Mark O'Halloran
      Magnolia Pictures
      R (Language Throughout|Brief Graphic Nudity|Sexual Content)
      Drama, LGBTQ+
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Apr 29, 2016, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Oct 7, 2016
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      Most Popular at Home Now